London: British counter terror police said they would step up "reassurance patrols" around mosques in London on Friday, in the wake of the Christchurch terror attack that killed more than 40 people.
Political leaders in Britain, which has suffered multiple terrorist attacks in recent years, issued heartfelt condolences as they woke to the news from New Zealand. The House of Commons held a minute's silence before sitting.
At least 49 people are dead after an Australian-born far right extremist opened fire at two mosques. A man in his late 20s has been charged with murder and is due to face Christchurch court on Saturday.
Mosques in New Zealand remained closed after the attack.
Scotland Yard's counter terrorism chief Neil Basu said Metropolitan police were monitoring events in New Zealand closely and stood ready to deploy support to investigators in Christchurch if needed.
“Today we will be stepping up reassurance patrols around mosques and increasing engagement with communities of all faiths, giving advice on how people and places can protect themselves," he said.
Prime Minister Theresa May said the attack was a "sickening act of violence."
"On behalf of the UK, my deepest condolences to the people of New Zealand after the horrifying terrorist attack in Christchurch," she said.
"My thoughts are with all of those affected by this sickening act of violence."
London's first Muslim mayor Sadiq Khan said the news was "heartbreaking."
"Heartbreaking news from New Zealand this morning where innocent people have been murdered because of their faith," he said.
"London stands with the people of Christchurch in the face of this horrific terror attack."
In 2017, the far right extremist Darren Osborne was jailed for murdering Makram Ali, and attempting to murder other worshippers at the Finsbury park mosque in London's north.
In the same year, Britain suffered four other terror attacks carried by Islamic inspired terrorists, including the attacks on London and Westminster Bridges and the bombing of the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.
Any Burnham, the Mayor of Manchester said Manchurians would be feeling Christchurch's pain.
"We know how people in Christchurch will be feeling today. Sending love from Greater Manchester to @LianneDalziel [the Mayor of Christchurch]& the whole community," he said.
Brendan Cox, whose wife Jo was murdered by a far right extremist as she was holding meetings with voters in her consituency in 2016, said it was important to remember that terrorist were a "tiny number of extremists."